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Latino Cultural Center to showcase culture during Heritage month

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s Latino Cultural Center is celebrating the annual Latino Heritage Month from Sept. 11 through Oct. 9 with numerous events focusing on the history and contributions of the Latino culture in the United States.

Jhose Melin Maxson designed this artwork in 2005 to represent Latino Heritage Month. (Purdue Marketing Communications photo/Mark Simons)

Jhose Melin Maxson designed this artwork in 2005 to represent Latino Heritage Month. (Purdue Marketing Communications photo/Mark Simons)

Purdue had 1,117 Latino students enrolled in the fall 2008 semester. In addition, the West Lafayette campus had 337 full- and part-time Latino employees and four adjunct faculty members.

“The Latino Cultural Center has celebrated the Latino Heritage Month since its inception in fall 2003,” said Maricela Alvarado, director of the Latino Cultural Center. “Every year during this month we explore different aspects of the Latino culture, such as the Asian-Latino, Jewish-Latino and Afro-Latino identities and history. Exploring these identities provides a greater understanding of how being Latino is not about race but about experiences, languages and culture.

“This year, we’ll explore the domestic Latino culture in the U.S. and see how immigration and acculturation play into the national identity.”

Several events will take place.

  • 4-6 p.m. Sept. 11. The Latino Cultural Center Open House will mark the beginning of Latino Heritage Month. The center will welcome new and returning students and faculty and staff to campus. Refreshments will be served.
  • 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 26. The Latino Cultural Center’s bilingual book club will meet at the center to discuss “Their Dogs Came with Them,” a novel by Helena Maria Viramontes, an American fiction writer and professor of creative writing at Cornell University.
  • Viramontes will deliver a lecture at 4 p.m. Oct. 8 in Stewart Center, Room 218. She also will read from her books at noon Oct. 9 in the Anniversary Drawing Room of Purdue Memorial Union.
  • 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 3. The Latino Cultural Center will tour Detroit’s Corktown and Mexican Town neighborhoods. The trip includes a visit to the Detroit Institute of Art to see a mural by Mexican painter Diego Rivera.

    Those interested in the trip must pay a non-refundable reservation fee of $20 while registering. Additional charges apply to faculty, staff and non-Purdue students.

For more information about the events celebrating the Latino Heritage Month, contact the Latino Cultural Center, 600 N. Russell St., West Lafayette, IN 47906

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